Know Your Rights When the Debt Collector Calls

Debt collectors can be incredibly persistent when talking to those in debt, however those who may owe money do have rights that should be utilized when dealing with collection agencies.  Debt collectors may try to scare or threaten those who owe money, however even if they do it is still vital to exercise your rights.

Financial columnist Dave Ramsey urges those who are approached by debt collectors to remain calm and be wary of when collectors have overstepped their bounds:

They won’t garnish your wages because they can’t. They would have to go through the formal, legal procedure Opens a New Window.of first suing you and then winning the case. They broke federal law by saying they would garnish your wages but hadn’t sued you. If I’m in your shoes, I’d be filing a complaint against these bozos with the Federal Trade Commission.

When talking with a debt collector, it is important to take note of the threats they use and to be wary of whether they step over their bounds or not.  Furthermore, do not give in to fear tactics.  Ramsey urges those approached by debt collectors to remain calm on the phone:

Don’t react with fear and panic in the face of debt collector threats. Talk to them and explain your situation. See if you can work out a compromise. If they get nasty or break federal law again, let them know you’ll be filing another complaint with the FTC. You’d be surprised how reasonable these people can be when faced with the possibility of government intervention.

Debt collectors can be ruthless, but when dealing with one it is important to know your rights. Sometimes raising as much money as possible just to give the collector something can make them more lenient.